New course looks at why “Blue is the New Green”

“I think that if we were to focus on water-friendly infrastructure and water-friendly engineering that we would make life better- not just for humans… but for all other creatures.”

– Rita Wong, Canadian Poet

Ocean and barge

During the bountifully rainy winter months in Vancouver, it’s hard to imagine that many places around the world lack access to a very precious resource: water.

And yet there are 1.1 billion people around the globe living without clean drinking water, and ⅓ of the world’s population is living with scarce or contaminated water supplies. In order to sustain the current rate of North American water consumption, we’d need 3.5 earths.

3.5 Earths

So how can we innovate at the local level to solve the world’s water crisis? That’s exactly the question that Dr. Karen Bakker will be addressing in her new online course “Blue is the New Green”, which starts on October 22nd. We’ve been collaborating with her and Hallenbeck Consultants to create a series of videos for the course.

This solutions-focused course exposes its students to practical steps being taken by environmental pioneers in addressing the critical issue of water security. Specific topics in the course include regenerative sustainability, waste as energy, habitat restoration, and water ethics.

Blue is the New Green

The course is a MOOC (massive open online course) offered through UBCx on Harvard and MIT’s EdX, an open-source programme that aims to make education available to everyone. While most MOOCs are based on the principle of a lecture presented in video format, the approach Dr. Bakker is taking in “Blue is the New Green” is to teach through story-telling rather than through lecture. The course will offer a collection of readings and lectures paired with videos that look at how local artists, architects, engineers, academics and planners are creating trailblazing real-world solutions to the global water crisis in urban settings.

“We have to go beyond just eliminating damage, we have to be restorative, we have to be regenerative. Defining regenerative sustainability in a very simple way doesn’t require a two hour lecture to explain, it’s just improvement in human and environmental well-being. That’s it! And everywhere we can do that, it’s better than harm reduction.”

– Dr. John Robinson, Executive Director, UBC Sustainability Initiative

Blue is the New Green

In the course we’ll visit several remarkable initiatives including CIRS, the False Creek Energy Centre, and the Olympic Village.

The University of British Columbia’s CIRS Building is one of the greenest buildings in the world, and the False Creek Energy Centre is the first utility in North America to use waste heat recovery from untreated urban wastewater. The Olympic Village in Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek is the greenest, most energy efficient and sustainable neighbourhood on Earth!

“Blue is the New Green” takes students out of the classroom and introduces them to real-life environmental pioneers working to solve the global water crisis on a local and global scale. If you’re passionate about sustainability and water security, and want to explore practical and inventive ways to address these issues, then this is a course for you!

Sign up for the course here

Dr. Karen Bakker
Dr Karen Bakker is a Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; she was named a “Top 40 under 40” in 2011. She has been researching water issues for the past 20 years, and is the author of more than 100 academic publications, which have appeared in top journals such as Science and Global Environmental Change. Her interdisciplinary research examines the causes of—and innovative solutions to— some of our most pressing water problems.


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Under the Rainbow Wins Award at Vancouver Queer Film Festival

We’re very pleased to announce that our very first film to be shown in a film festival, Under the Rainbow, has won the jury selected Gerry Brunet Memorial Award for Best BC Shot Film at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival!

Under the Rainbow, produced by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, is a documentary about how poverty affects queer and trans youth in British Columbia. The film follows the life of Shawnee, a queer high school student facing family rejection, hunger, and homelessness. After being thrown out of her home, she finds herself couch-surfing with strangers and living a life of daily insecurity and vulnerability. And her story is not uncommon: one in four queer and trans youth are forced out of their homes.

Rates of poverty in BC are the highest in Canada, and the issue affects queer youth disproportionately. Through Shawnee’s story and insights from service providers and researchers, we gain insight into the root causes and high incidence of poverty amidst queer and trans communities in BC.

We are very honoured to have been a part of the project and to have been recognized with the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award.

 To learn more about the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, visit their website at:

Shortt and Epic’s Founder and Creative Director Dave Shortt accepting the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award

Shortt and Epic’s Founder and Creative Director Dave Shortt accepting the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award



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Shortt and Epic Marks First Year Anniversary

I want to thank you.
Whether you’re a client who shared Shortt and Epic’s vision, a family member who believed in me, a friend who offered sound advice, or someone who liked Shortt and Epic’s Facebook page – you helped make the first year in business a great one and I feel so fortunate to have had so much support. 
It’s hard to believe it has been one year since the launch of Shortt and Epic. And what a year it’s been!  Three viral videos, two honors, numerous news articles, and over 1 million views later, we’ve already outgrown our website.
To mark Shortt and Epic’s one year anniversary we’re launching a new website. A website that not only looks better, but is also easier to use. It now looks great regardless of what device it’s on – be it mobile, tablet or desktop. Visitors can filter our work based on different categories such as time lapse and live action. And we’ve added a blog section so we have a place to share our and our clients’ successes. Let us know what you think.
I’m looking forward to another great year. We already have several very exciting projects lined up and we can’t wait to create more magic.  
Happy Holidays,
Dave Shortt
Owner and Founder of Shortt and Epic


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Apple uses Shortt and Epic’s Tahoe video to launch iPad mini

We were honored when Apple contacted us in July with the hopes of using our Tahoe time lapse in their upcoming, top-secret product launch. Three months later, that top-secret product turned out to be the new iPad mini.

Apple used the video to demonstrate the quality of retina screen technology during its keynote address and in their official product video on their website. Since its launch in December 2011, the 2 min Tahoe time-lapse has been viewed over 250k times and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

Watch the original TAHOE video here


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Shortt and Epic on the cover of Huffington Post Canada

Shortt and Epic’s work for the Dogwood Initiative garnered significant attention from local and national media, including the front page of Huffington Post Canada. 

The 2 minute video, titled  ‘*This is not an Enbridge animation‘, made waves by highlighting Enbridge’s omission of islands in the Douglas Cannel – the proposed tanker route for the Northern Gateway. 

The video uses stunning time lapse video to show the actual locations of the proposed pipeline. “The idea was to show the reality of what’s at risk while deconstructing Enbridge’s misleading approach” said Shortt and Epic Owner, Dave Shortt.

 Since its launch in August,  the video has been viewed by over 60k people, resulted in 5000 new petition signatures, earned a Merit through the Lotus awards and won People’s Choice award at the Paws and Claws Film Festival.

 See the full Huffington Post article here.


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